How did you cope with seeing computers, keyboards, screens and staff walk out the door on 26th March, wondering whether this remote worker experiment would actually work?
What we witnessed was the future being sucked forward in a vacuum of necessity created by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Whether you were well prepared or not, remote working as an option is the new reality for many businesses here and around the world.
It is now important to reflect on what this all means and how a remote enabled workforce can add value to our business and organisation, and what technology you’ll need to make it happen.
Remote Work Benefits
Remote working provides the opportunity to reassess existing technology, systems and operational processes that can provide employees with a workplace promoting engagement, diversity, and wellness. This is likely to elevate productivity and performance across the board.
In essence, if you establish a pragmatic work-from-home protocol, you will need to be closer to your workforce than ever before. Nowhere to hide for leaders and employees alike, unlocking potential and giving you a competitive edge.
Being able to tap into a remote work talent pool not restrained geographically can address access to new skills and create new job roles within your organisation. That said, remote work may not be ideal for every business, but it gives many a chance to rethink team diversity and dynamics and the necessary expertise to drive success
The Right Technology and Processes
Business leaders will need to implement the proper businesses tools and software, and managers must put in the right processes. Here are some ideas to help with some of the challenges you will need to address.
One of the most recognised reasons for remote team challenges and failures is poor communication. Good internal communication is the life blood of a great business culture. Without the right tools to facilitate real-time communication, teams will not interact as often or meaningfully, and employees could feel more isolated.
But when teams leverage collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, Slack, Zoho, and ZOOM, they create transparency and sharing in real-time which results in better accountability, morale and productivity. Key toolset features include instant messaging, video conferencing, voice notes, and document management.
Over 60 percent of teams say collaboration is the most important ingredient of business success. Today’s collaboration software empowers teams to work smarter together whether in the office, in a remote work centre (outsourcing) or at home.
These tools provide real-time delivery and deployment of information as well as instant, reliable and secure access to company data and information whenever and wherever the teams need it. Many of these software tools are available and at no additional cost as part of your Microsoft or Google accounts feature sets.
These virtual work spaces will continue to evolve and can play a critical part in the success of your business. It does this by keeping work organised, prioritised while ensuring teams are always online and co-ordinated.
Facilitates real-time, one on one and team messaging technology has emerged as the primary means of communication for remote teams. They’ll have the ability to send and receive messages instantly, providing secure access to people and information that email and social media apps cannot.
Video Conferencing (VC)
Communicating face-to face from just about anywhere and anytime, from work, the airport, in the orchard or in a taxi. The VC tool must allow for screen-sharing and recording so participants can share important insights with the rest of the team on any device they choose.
File sharing apps makes available all of your important files and documents via the cloud and sync them across all your device and teams. The same security protocols apply to your users whether in the office or at home, so your data is safe, and access can be audited.
Many of the software tools to achieve a permanent migration to a remote work reality for your organisation are readily accessible, are easy to deploy, are secure, deliver instant results and are easily deployed, if you know how.
Over recent months, many of us have been thrust into a remote work environment, and it looks like this concept is here to stay, largely driven through necessity and the safety of our workforce. But also, the benefits of remote work have been well and truly realised, and can be a powerful tool for organisations going forward.